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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  June 13, 2014 11:00am-1:01pm EDT

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know, yes. it is -- that is all true, the kinds of information that the intelligence community is probably most after reside largely in a small number of rather large providers, which is you can see reflected in the programs that have existed up to now. >> maybe and maybe not. >> correct. >> thanks, senator rockefeller. senator wyden. >> thank you very much. madam chair. mr. garfield, question with respect to the economic implications of these overly broad nsa surveillance practices, and the way i come to this is the companies that are part of your organization, the technology sector, this is advantage america. this is an area where we consistently lead, we have these cutting edge technologies, got a host of exciting developments, cloud computing is just one of them. these are all areas where we
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have a chance in a fragile economy to create good paying, innovation-oriented jobs. my take is that if a foreign enemy was doing the damage to the american economy that some of these overly broad nsa practices are doing, our citizens would be up in arms. i mean people would be up in arms literally from coast to coast. you have highlighted page three of your testimony, the forrester study, i believe or the technology foundation, $35 billion lost to the cloud computing industry is just one part of the technology sector over three years. i talk about the balkanization of the internet. i think it would be very helpful if you would flesh that out. i would assume that what you're touching on is that when countries like europe and brazil
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and others are applying various restrictions and opportunities for access to our digital goods and services that this makes it hard for us to have that kind of seamless internet, but flesh out that concept, if you would of the balkanization of the internet because i think it's important for people to really understand the implications of the economic harm being done to the american brand. your companies have gone to great lengths to constantly innovate. by and large, they probably much like to be left alone by government. >> that is an accurate statement. >> be left alone and go innovate. i read about john chambers just here in the last few days. a whole host of technology leaders who are up in arms. flesh out this question of how these overly broad nsa practices have damaged companies that are part of your sector and exactly what do you mean by the balkanization of the internet you feel has taken place? by the way, i feel so strongly
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about this that i'm investigating it as chairman of the finance committee because i think this has big implications on the global competitiveness of some of our most important companies. we'll be following it up there, as well. >> thank you, senator wyden, we appreciate that. the two concepts are interrelated. the internet as i mentioned in my testimony, is built on open interoperable global platforms. they are heavily reliant on trust. what we see in a lot of international markets is a move towards creating barriers to that openness, that interopability which we lead to walled gardens that are separated from the broader global internet which is highly prom tick. the benefit of the internet is that it's global and interconnected. the loss of trust, as well, globally, which i mentioned in my oral testimony, is highly
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problematic because the reason that we have done, u.s. companies have done so well globally because we innovate, but also is there a trust in what we are innovating and advancing. if you undermine both of those things, then it results in economic loss. those losses are not theoretical, they are real and have broader implications. not just for our companies, but if the foundation of the internet is changed, then all the social good that derives from it is also impacted. >> thank you. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you. senator collins. >> thank you. mr. baker, first of all, it's good to see you again. >> it's a pleasure. >> i very much appreciate the fact that you gave us some real life examples to contemplate as we attempt to get this right, and that is what everybody on this committee wants to do.
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mr. woods, how long does verizon currently retain call record data for business purposes? >> that's a complex question to answer because we have many different systems for retaining data. i would take the opportunity to say a number of witnesses and numbers referred to in fcc requirement we retain for 18 months. >> that was my next question whether you think you are required to retain the data for 18 months? >> the answer is no. that fcc requirement requires us to maintain billing records for 1 months. when that rule was enacted in the 1980s, our billing records integrated a lot of call detail records. if you remember what telephone bills used to look like, there were pages and pages that listed your calls. there used to be a difference between long distance and lot.
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as the same has evolved, most our customers, 70%, 80% of wire line customers and wireless customers are unlimited type plans. call detail records are no longer part of billing records we retain for fcc purposes. >> but we are moving more and more toward flat fee monthly calling plans. i'm trying to figure out how this is going to work if you are not going to have the kind of detail detailed phone numbers that could be queried. and if you are not keeping all of the data for at least 18 months, so there's no, it sounds like you are collecting or keeping less data than you used to. when there were individual calls that you were charged for if you
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were a customer. and that you are keeping them of varying lengths and don't accept that there is an fcc requirement to keep all of that data for 18 months? and correct where i'm wrong on that. >> to the first point, we are not generating fewer call detail records. our systems generate them. even when our customers are on unlimited plans, the system switches and the gateways automatically generate those records. we use them primarily for network management purposes, managing traffic across the system. as i say, we have many different systems. we are generally retaining those 12 to 18 months for business purposes. we satisfy the fcc requirement by retaining actual copies of the billing paperwork. the fcc requirement is all about resolving billing disputes with
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customers. we literally keep copies of the bills, but the technical data, the call detail records are still being generated. >> excuse me for interrupting, but if after 12 months you're purging the call detail record and just retaining the billing record which doesn't have the call detail, in many cases, then aren't you losing -- wouldn't the government be losing access potentially to six months worth of data? that there seems to be a common assumption that there's going to be 18 months of data. it's not in the bill and you are telling me that you don't keep that kind of data across the board. >> that's correct. if a law enforcement agency or the intelligence community came to us and asked us for call detail records from three years
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ago, for example, we might not be able to honor that request. but that's the position that all law enforcement is in right now. the bulk collection is for a longer period of time only because nsa is getting a continuous feed and is keeping it themselves. even thou we don't have data five years back. all collection would be from our ordinary business records. >> mr. baker, do you see that as a problem from your perspective as a former intelligence community member? >> i said this is a step into the dark and it looks like a very long step down. we don't know how much data we'll be able to get by serving these orders. whatever verizon's practices are, we don't know what the practices will be at frontier or comcast or a much smaller provider. so it is going to be a very bumpy ride.
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>> thank you. >> thank you, senator collins. i think your comments to a great extent crystallized it. i'd like to, since there are just the four of us, just have a brief -- oh, you didn't have your five minutes? oh, i'm sorry. take ten. >> mr. geiger, mr. baker gave us a couple of examples about the positive use of 2015. i could give you a dozen more 0. do you know of any abuse of the use of 215? >> if there was an abuse of section 215, it is unlikely the public will know about it because that abuse would be classified. it would be shrouded in secrecy. certainly, the overbroad use of section 215 has resulted in a loss of trust in american
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companies and has translated to real dollar loss in lost jobs. moreover, net surveillance itself is an abuse. it's an abuse of privacy rights of americans and human rights of people abroad. the government has a history of abuse, not just this government, governments worldwide when surveillance power is too broad. lastly, there is not a lot of evidence that authorities are effective. we had multiple independent review boards, including the private and civil liberties oversight board, the president's review group as well as members of this panel who have reviewed the classified evidence and determined less intrusive means could achieve the same ends. not only do i not have information about abuse, i have information that the authorities you're asking about are not effective. >> well, i would strongly disagree with you. just as a simple example that
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mr. baker gave about this zazi case, had we not had 215, i'm convinced if we had this bill in place under the facts of the zazi case, we would probably have had an explosion in the subway in new york city. the reaction that we had after 9/11 that you referred to that may be overstepped, and i understand the what you are saying, and that's the way congress oversteps, the reaction would have been to the point, in my opinion, we wouldn't be here today talking about modifying them in a softer way. we would be talking about modifying them in a stronger way. mr. baker, you at homeland security till 2009 or so. >> yes, sir. >> i'm not sure how much access you had to reviewing cases that
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may have involved the use of 215, but can you shed any light on this from the standpoint of any, number one, abuses or reasons why, even stronger reasons why 215 should be maintained. >> i heard mr. geiger say he didn't know of any abuses, and i agree with that. i did not see abuses. i will say we felt so strongly about the importance of having a large data set that we had bitter battles with the european union to make sure that we could get information on everyone who was flying into the united states. of course most of them were innocent, but we needed the data to look through it and look for the most suspect passengers and give them more questioning at the border. it was an enormously effective program that relied on having a
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comprehensive data base, not a selective data base based on five magic terms. >> if i could clarify my earlier statements, what i said was the overbroad use of 215 was problematic. i could see 215 used in a variety of circumstances not in bulk collection. rather than evidence that has been compiled is the bulk collections are problematic and it is that we are trying to end. >> i understand that. mr. woods, i'm going to ask you this. you may not be able to answer it because it would relate to practices of your competitors, but i assume there are generalities in your industry. let's say you were mandated to keep records by this law that we're debating and ultimately
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may pass. if you were mandated to keep records for up to 18 months, do you have any idea what that would cost your industry? >> no, senator, i don't have any reliable figures. >> would there be a cost to it? >> certainly, increased storage space would be a cost. i have no idea the magnitude. >> let's say we don't mandate it and leave it wide open as the house did, which i think is a huge mistake. and let's say you received a query on one of your customers who was in conversation with a customer of at&t who was then in contact with a customer of
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sprint. under this bill, as i understand it, if you got a query, then you would give information on your customer then we'd have to go back, doj would have to go back to the fisa court to get an authorization for a query on the at&t customer and then they would have to go back to the fisa court and get a query on the sprint customer, is that your understanding? >> i'm not sure exactly how the process would work. we would respond with the call detail records of whatever we had. we would certainly have the call detail records on our customer. we also have call detail records on telephone calls that are not by our customers, but transit our system as we handle a lot of what we used to call long distance and a lot of international calling. we would simply respond with as much as we had, which might be the call from the verizon
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customer to the at&t customer. it might conceivably include our cdrs relevant. >> it might but might not. >> that is totally dependent on how the call is routed through the telephone infrastructure. >> which makes my point that as mr. baker said, and well as you said, too, right now we've got it all collected at one point. there is only one query. that one query gives us all of the numbers in that little spatter width which is built when a terrorist makes a phone call to somebody who makes another call and the information is available instantaneously as opposed to maybe taking, being received by nsa or fbi or whoever may request it over a period of hours, maybe even days, i guess, conceivably.
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the chairman's right. i understand your, both the problem that you, mr. garfield and you mr. geiger have raised relative to the economic issues and what not. let's don't kid ourselves. we're not the only ones that do this. we've got folks across the pond who do this. against us. it's been necessary to interrupt and disrupt terrorist activities. you want to say something, mr. garfield. >> i want to be clear we are not suggesting not engaging in activity that would protect our national interest, national security interest. the thing we are suggesting is particularly as it relates to the language in the bill, that there are ways to do that while also addressing the equities related to privacy.
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so behind you is a seal of the united states where it says e pluribus unum. the united states people have lost trust in their government domestically and internationally. this is going to be quite significant. i think it's important to come up with language that achieves what you want, but also that ensures that we're not doing it in an indiscriminate way. >> i don't think there is anybody here that disagrees with that philosophy. i do think there is going to be some disagreement over how we get there. okay. >> senator, if i could respond to your points about data retention, so as has been noted earlier, the telecommunications company as well as many other internet services already receive millions of requests from law enforcement around the country every year and they're responding to that. law enforcement generally does not have the ability to build
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such a gigantic data base. there's not been any evidence so far we have seen that a data retention mandate is necessary for companies to fulfill these requests or law enforcement to use the data from these requests to actually catch criminals. moreover, a data retention mandate would be an enormous burden both in terms of technological infrastructure, particularly for small companies and start-ups, but would result in loss of user trust and potential problems with privacy and data breach. we urge you not to go down the road of a data retention mandate. >> they may not keep these records more than two months next year. things are going to change five years from now or three years from now. we all know how fast technology changes. if there's not some requirement that be kept for some period of time, then we may as well not have this program. we will lose it and we will lose
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the ability to interrupt, disrupt terrorist activity. there's going to have to be some kind of understanding or mandate or some kind of understanding that is firm or some kind of mandate in the law on a period of time, otherwise we simply will not be able to gather the information on guys that are talking. these guys are smart as y'all are. a lot smarter than what we are up here. these guys that want to do bad things to us. they're going to figure out their way around it. it's already happening. we see it. mr. woods could tell you some things that would scare folks to death about the way some of the folks in the terrorist world are reacting to revelations by mr. snowden. as we sit here today giving away this kind of information to terrorists, i assure you, their
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folks watching this who are making notes are going to use those notes to try to avoid whatever type of system we ultimately come up with. we've got to be mindful of that as we try to carefully craft this legislation that protects privacy rights. we all agree that needs to be done. but at the same time, protects americans. thanks, madame chair. >> thank you, senator. senator rockefeller? >> just a quick thought. that is the influence of negative public thinking about the activities of government shared by most people or all people. when before i used that we have an approval rating of 9% in congress, i think i was quoting correctly. i think it varies between 11%
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and 9%. and i think we have a responsibility to consider what that means, but at the same time looking at this committee whose job is not to measure public reaction, but to do the very best job it can do to do something called protect our national security and privacy at the same time. senator chambliss made a very strong case in his opening statement and this statement that terror is breaking out all over the world. it's the biggest growth industry in existence, and it has the enormous emotional advantage of being based upon tribal hatreds, ancient vengeance, retributions from 200 years ago, flat-out
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racism, territorial disputes. look at what's going on in the kinkoku islands off china, philippines, taiwan, all claiming a piece of rock beneath which is a lot of oil. it's going to increase and increase and increase. therefore the need for broad and highly professionalized analysis of the intelligence we are able to collect, if we are able to collect enough. remember, it was some years ago we closed down a lot of our station chiefs in africa. you remember that. we paid a terrible price for that. terrible price for that. measurable terrible price for that. so i'm very conscious of being
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on the intelligence committee. this is a very rare occasion when we have an open meeting. i don't consider that bad. i consider it good that we do our work privately. we can talk to each other in ways we can trust and talk to the government, the nsa and cia and have disputes in a way understood by all of us as we try to adjust to extremely malevolent and fast-changing events. i am convinced that if somebody wants to say nsa is collecting so much bulk that they could become malevolent argument.
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if tootsy rolls tasted like lemons, people probably wouldn't buy them but they don't. we do not have problems of privacy. we have the perception of problems of privacy that we can't stop. that is not our job. our job is to protect through intelligence and protect through securi security. that is what this hearing is all about. it's not reacting to public distaste for government or for collecting information. they are afraid of government and they always have been. that in no way diminishes our responsibility. to collect, analyze, query, one
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hop, two hops, three hops, whatever, with a firewalls built. the patriot act was an extraordinary act, particularly the fisa act of firewalling people being able to, so the chair could say there were very, very few cases where we had to actually go after folks. very few cases. very few cases. people would guess thousands and it wasn't even 25. i just want to put that plug in for the importance of the job that the intelligence committee and why it is we cannot be swayed by public opinion. we can listen to it, learn from it, but not be swayed by it away from a stronger, more protective, and i think better protection of privacy course. thank you. >> thank you very much, both of
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my colleagues. i very much agree with what you said. if i had my druthers, do i believe the policy rights are better served by having the telecoms hold this or having the government hold it? i actually believe privacy rights are better served by having a limited number of people whom you know, who you train, who are supervised, who are no more than 22 who do the actual querying other than hundreds that you don't know out in telephone companies. i am really very concerned that we're going to end up next year with this whole program going down. that's a very real concern because what both my colleagues have said and what we see, we
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see the intelligence. we read the intelligence. we know that terror is up around the world. and we know that they will come at us if they can. so the only way you stop that is by gaining intelligence to be able to disrupt a plot. that's what has been happening. and so far, so good in the main. having said that, either so many different views in this body that when the time comes for these sections of the patriot act to be, that sunset next year, there's going to be chaos. that concerns me greatly. and there is a high likelihood that we get left with nothing. so my hope here is that the various parts of our community
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can come together and we can find a way. you know, the private sector isn't perfect in terms of privacy at all. i mean, i know people that don't want their homes on the google map because of privacy concerns. and there's nothing they can do about it. it's there. facial recognition. all of the internet goings on that takes place. hacking, which is epidemic. so privacy every day is threatened. i think you want to limit the numbers that have access to this. i think you want to limit how you do it. and this is what we are trying to find a way. there are a lot of telecoms out there now. if we have to go to a mandate,
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which we may have to do, and mandate the length of time, which we may have to do, i suspect there will be a court battle somewhere. that's not going to help us. we have a very limited period of time to solve this problem. it's up to when all of these sunset. there are people in both bodies that want to do away with all of these programs, until someone gets blown up at a big sports match, a number of people, big buildings get blown up, planes get blown up, and people have to understand i am really concerned. there are bombs that go through magnatometers. we know the person that makes these bombs are still alive. there have been four attempts to get these bombs into our country. one was in 2009. it misfired.
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he wanted to explode the plane over detroit. there was enough explosive to explode the plane. two were found in printer cartridges in the dubai airport headed to the united states. and one was an asset that helped recover this bomb that was headed for the united states. so these are real things out there. and the only way we have to disrupt this is intelligence. i beg people, please come together, enable us to do the right thing for both, for privacy and for protection of this country. i think the telecoms have to come aboard. all the big companies have to understand what we are trying to
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do. i've been visited by members of the european community. i've heard from many of year companies that they are concerned, and yet half of what was produced by this program went to europe to help them disrupt plots there. and that's the irony of this. so i hope we can work something out. it's not easy to get something through the house. when the house passes something 3-1 with both political parties and two committees, if we could work from this and we could make certain amendments to it and we could strengthen it, and we could pass it, the chairman of
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the house intelligence committee has said, look, we'll conference it right away. we'll get it done, because there is a sense of alacrity that we need to do this. we would like your thoughts. we are dealing with bill language now. so having bill language submitted to us to solve problems you made. if you don't like minimization, give us some language. i don't know what to do about the tell comes because i think i know where you are going. but this is based on the telecommunication companies understanding that there is a problem out there. my sense is if there is the will that we woman date it. you wouldn't want to be responsible if there were three planes going downloaded with people, or buildings hit by
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them. and that's really where we are. so i really thank you. i look forward to working with you. we will make ourselves available, make our staff available, and you are just an example of what is out there. anyone that has concrete though thoughts, please contact us because this is the one opportunity i see to be able to sustain a program which certainly disrupted zazi. and mr. zazi pled guilty and some of his conspirators pled guilty. there was no question where he was going with this was to blow up the new york subway system. so with that in mind, i say thank you very much. it's been a long hearing, but you've all been terrific. thank you very much. hearing is adjourned.
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with violence in iraq escalating, the washington institute today hosted a discussion on the situation in that region. speakers include former u.s. ambassador to iraq james jeffrey. watch that live on our companion network c-span. we expect to hear more about iraq and syria later at today's pentagon briefing. rear admiral john kirby will answer reporters' questions on that and other issues. that's set to begin at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, as well. we want your thoughts on the situation in iraq. should the u.s. intervene? some of your responses, "in my opinion, yes, but only in a limited way. drones, missiles and perhaps some limited air strikes. no american ground troops. they would be outsiders and targets." mark feels this way, "nope. they had their chance. as a veteran of that war, i'm ashamed that those men iraqis can't follow protocol after being instructed by us for nine plus years."
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we welcome your thoughts. write us at facebook.com/c-span. >>. >> one of the things people don't always recognize is that during the war of 1812 it was fought from 1812 until after 1814, early 1815. it was really about america re-establishing its independence against the british. this was sort of our second american revolution. this flag is the object for which francis scott key penned the words which became our national anthem. >> the image in 1995 that the flag was made to look whole and restored. there was a whole bottom section that was reconstructed. when the flag was moved into the new exhibition space there was a deliberate decision by the cure
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it curators is not to do that again. it's tattered, and torn but still survives. the message is the survival of the country and the flag. we are not trying to make it look pretty. we are trying to make it look like it's endured its history and can still celebrate its history. >> this year marks the 200th anniversary of the british naval bombardment of ft. mchenry during the war of 1812. learn more about the flag francis scott key wrote about while we tour the smithsonian's "star-spangled banner" exhibit, sunday night at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. part of american history tv on cspan3. how are child nutrition programs addressing the issues of national security, the economy and the health of children and families? thursday, the senate agriculture, nutrition and forestry committee held a hearing on that topic. education, medical and military officials provided remarks. this was the first in a series
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of hearings which committee chair plans to hold on this issue as part of a larger effort to update the nation's child nutrition laws. it's just under 90 minutes. well, good morning. the committee meeting will come to order. we are so pleased that all of you are here today. i want to welcome everyone to the committee's first hearing as we begin the process of reauthorizing child nutrition programs. these conversations could not come at a more critical time. today more than 16 million children in this country don't
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have enough to eat. at the same time, childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past 30 years. something's wrong with this picture. these trends are not just a threat to the health of america's young people, they are a threat to the future of our national security, and we want to talk about that today. for generations, the u.s. military has depended on the strength and courage of young americans to form the world's most elite fighting force. our military leaders recognize this and historically when they've asked congress for help, we have responded. near the end of world war ii, general lewis hershey came before the congress to explain that malnutrition and underfeeding were to blame for recruits being rejected for service in the armed forces. in response to the general's concerns, congress launched the national school lunch program
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calling it a measure of national security. today, as we'll hear, our military leaders have a similar request for congress and it's the same request we will hear from pediatricians and school leaders and parents. they ask that we protect and strengthen school nutrition programs so we can strengthen our nation's military preparedness and improve the long-term health of the next generation of americans. this request has even more urgency today than it had 70 years ago. that's because roughly 27% of americans between the ages of 17 and 24 are too overweight to serve in the military. and the proportion of new recruits who failed physical exams during the past 13 years rose by nearly 70%.
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childhood obesity and weight-related diseases weaken our nation's financial security, as well. it's estimated that the nation spends about $14 billion a year to treat obesity and preventible weight-related diseases in children alone, not counting adults. yet for 14 cents, we can give a child an apple in school. $14 billion a year or 14 cents. that reminds me of what benjamin franklin once said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. these are the critical types of investments we can make now to save billions down the road, reducing many of the high costs associated with treating preechtible diseases like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and liver disease. in the classroom, a school breakfast can spur a lifetime of learning and achievement. we know children who receive a
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healthy breakfast are linikely have better math scores and less likely to be absent from class. for many children a healthy lunch can form the foundation of a lifetime of good health. making sure children have healthy, nutritious food will mean they can focus on what's important, learning, growing. ultimately becoming productive and successful in future years. while it's often easy to think of programs in terms of a six-month budget or the annual appropriations, this hearing is really about the big picture. school breakfast and school lunch are key components of child nude rigs. it's also important to remember that child nutrition is also about wellness policies, it's about wic, women, infant and children programs, school efforts and daycare. about reducing hunger for children after school and during
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the summer months. the authorization of child nutrition programs is important. investing in our children's nutritional health is not only about the cost of a meal, it's about investing in our nation's future and our most critical priorities. stronger national security, long-term economic strength, educational success and the health and happy lives of our families. please, we have a great panel of witnesses with us today with us who can discuss the big picture, impact of investing in the health of our children. we welcome everyone today. our ranking member is not able to be with us. i know we will be joined by others as we proceed. if either of my colleagues want to make brief comment, we would be happy to have it, otherwise we'll go to our witnesses. >> i have a statement to introduce one of our witnesses, is that all right? >> absolutely. i'll let you proper he seed. >> i would like to introduce dr. steven cook, trained in
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pediatrics, adult internal medicine, attends at the gallisano children university hospital. he served as a member of my healthy children working group and his work has been a resource to me as i developed my legislative agenda with respect to children's health. dr. cook's research folks uses on children, childhood and adolescent obesity, factors and clinical studies on prevention and intervention and has been a part of the rochester collaborative which serves as a national model for obesity treatment. he was among ten teams chosen to participate in the healthy weight collaborative. dr. cook received his md from suny of buffalo school of medicine and chief resident year in buffalo, new york. completed academic pediatric fellowship during which he
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focused on research and clinical aspects of metabolic complications that arise. he received a number of medical and research awards and recognized by the american heart association for being the national science advocate of the year in 2011. he currently serves on the governor's anti-hunger task force in new york state as well as chairman and membership committee for the obesity society. we welcome him to the senate agriculture committee today and look forward to his testimony. >> thank you very much. thank you for your advocacy and leadership. we were both senator brown and senator gillibrand both strong advocates for the child nutrition program. i look forward to working with you in partnership as we proceed to reauthorize in the coming year. let me proceed with our other witnesses. i'm pleased to introduce our first witness general richard
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hol howley. military leaders for kids, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan national security organization of hundreds of retired military officers committed to strengthening future generations through smart policies. during general howley's military career he served in a variety of command and staff position in the united states and overseas, commanded a group winged number air force in two major commands. his assignments as a flagstaff officer included duty as the air force director of operations during the first gulf war, commander u.s. forces japan in fifth air force. principal deputy sandt, secretary of the air force for acquisition and commander united states air force in europe and allied air forces central. welcome. our second witness is mr. thornton, president of the national parent-teacher association who is a senior operations analyst with general
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dynamics in fort stewart, be georgia. he is a retired united states army lieutenant colonel and last two assignments were with the white house communications agency and united states forces iraq and baghdad. mr. thornton earned the bronze star medal for exceptional performance in combat operations during operation iraqi freedom in 2009, 2010, and as a pta leader, mr. thornton p's military background allowed him to volunteer throughout the country and the world at various state, local and council levels. we are so pleased to have you with us. let me now turn to ms. yolanda stanislas, principal of francis scott key middle school in silver springs, maryland. she is an educator for 21 years, starting a career as a high
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school earth science and chemistry teacher in new york city public schools. she also taught at bethesda chevy chase high school and served as teacher and assistant principal at silver spring middle school. prior to becoming principal at francis scott key was principal of galloway elementary school and spent several years in the montgomery county public school system, and montgomery county schools participate in the national school lunch and breakfast programs, in addition to providing meals, the schools participate in other healthy food and hunger mitigation programs, including after school snack, summer meals and farm-to-school activities. we are so pleased to have all of you here with your experiences and expertise to share with that. i would remind you, we are asking for five minutes worth of testimony. we are very happy to accept whatever you would like to give us in writing, as well.
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we'll start with general howley, welcome. >> thank you, chairwoman stabenow and members of the committee. thank you for holding this for s hearing and including me. i appreciate the opportunity to -- it may seem odd to some here that retired general officer would be here talking about childhood nutrition. want exactly our line of expertise. as the chairman pointed out the marshall school lunch program was established in 1946 in large measure in response to our experiences during world war ii when we discovered that of those that were now qualified for military service, about 40% of those were malnourished, and so the congress took action, established the school lunch program, and it has had a great affect on the health of our
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potential recruits upon who we defend -- depend to defend the nation. unfortunately, 70 years later nutrition remains a national problem and a problem for our military, but the pendulum has swung a little, and the issue is now we have too many children and candidate recruits that are obese or overweight. many young americans today are unfit for military service, and that's a tragic figure. as the chairwoman pointed out about 27% of our youth are too fat, overweight, obese to meet the demands of military service. others cannot meet the educational requirements or have a criminal background which
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disqualifies them. just to put a number on this for the six years from 2006 to 2011 young men and women were denied enlistment at the rate of 62,000. 62,000 young americans during that period who couldn't qualify for military service because they were overweight or obese, and just to put a little easier number on it, that would man about 30 air force combat wings. is,it00 enlistes are discharged every year because of weight problems. 1,200. of course, the military has to then go out and recruit and train replacement. i don't know how this adds up to the 14 cent apple, chairwoman, but it's $90 million a year that we spend to recruit and train
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those replacement. that would buy a lot of apples. the military is responding to these problems. they have launched a number of initiatives to deal with the issues, but they need help. that's why the school nutrition environment is so important. a child who is overweight in his preteen years has an 80% chance of being obese by age 25, and those are the ones who can't meet the requirements for military service. in 2010 our group released a report too fat to fight, and another in 2012 still too fat to fight, and they examined how obesity affects our military and highlight the need for standards in our school lunch program. when too fat to fight was
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released in 2010, our children were consuming way too many junk food calories. the equivalent of two billion candy bars a year. by the way, two billion candy bars weighs more than the aircraft carrier midway. rates of obesity is now slowing, and in some age groups has been reversed. cultural change does not happen quickly. if given time to work their magic, the standards you put in place in 2010 will give us a stronger military in 2030 and a healthier nation as well. on behalf of the 450 generals and admirals of mission readiness, i thank you for this opportunity to highlight the link between childhood nutrition and national security.
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>> thank you very much for that testimony. mr. thurmond, welcome again. >> can i members, my fellow distinguished panelists, i'm honored to have the opportunity here to speak before you on behalf of over four million of the national parent teacher association members. with more than 24,000 local units pta exists in all 50 states, the district of columbia, puerto rico, the u.s. virgin islands, and department of defense schools in had europe. i currently search in an elected position i roomed in june of last year. in addition to my involvement, i have been active in state and local pta's in georgia, maryland, texas, michigan, and germany. i'm currently employed as a senior operations analyst with general dynamics at fort story, georgia, and i'm a retired lun nant colonel. most importantly, i have two
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decades of experience as a father. pta was founded in 1897 and is the oldest and largest volunteer child advocacy association in the united states. pta's agency lossy is the policy to protect the education, health, and overall well being of children has made an indelible impact in the lives of millions of children and their families. this legacy includes the creation of kindergarten classes, a juvenile justice system, child labor laws, and mandatory immunizations for schoolchildren. our mission is to be a powerful voice for every child. with regard to today's hearing, one of the fundamental purposes of pta is to preserve children's health and protect them from harm. pta has been at the table from the beginning. piloting a hot lunch program in schools in the 1920s that led to pta's advocacy for a national
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school lunch program and each subsequent reauthorization of the richard b. russell national school lunch act. most recently, the pta and our coalition partners fall for the passage of the health where i hunger free act which, as you commitment to the well being of our nation's children, but also to provide a historical context
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approximate for where we are today. we have made a commitment to our children for over 70 years to do the right thing in the cafeteria, and we cannot turn our backs now. i know some of my fellow panelists will address the reality of our nation's obesity crisis as it relates to our overall health and national security. i'm here to tell you that our parents and families are committed to working together to insure that the continued success of our nation's child nutrition programs are well. where are we today? cools are making an exceptional progress in the meals they are serving to our kids. there have been challenges along the way, but that's to be expected. we're parents, after all, and at the last time -- when was the last time you changed rules for your kids in the interest of their well being and your kids were happy about it? do we have anyone here? as partners in the school
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building, pta and parents understand there are certain challenging realities. there's never enough time, seldom enough money, and oftentimes minimum resources, but that has never and can never be a free pass not to do the right thing for our kids. for parents it means that we need to step up to the plate and support our schools, the board, the administration, the school food service, and the teachers and the students to make sure that school meals are successful. we nye need to find solutions to the challenges. do we need updated kitchen equipment to serve fresh food? how are we going to secure funding? do we need volunteers so breakfast can be serbed in the classroom? let's get some parents and grandparents together. do we need to taste test some of the new items? how can we help? do we need to adjust our fundraising practices? let's do this. one of the most common questions that we hear as we travel around the country is will our kids have enough time to eat lunch? how can we solve this problem?
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we can do this together. it may be a little bit of time and a lot of effort, but we can do it. in closing, thank you for having me here for this testimony. >> thank you very much. dr. cook, welcome. >> thank you very much. chairwoman stabenow and -- an american heart association volunteer, the unintended benefit of my dual training is now being realized in the current childhood obesity epidemic. today i see young patients with type ii diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease. these are conditions which i'm familiar with as an internist, treating adult patients, but my pediatric colleagues never saw before. in other words, our children are developing adult diseases accelerated by the poor diets and developing obesity. the statistics are grim. today one in three kids or teens are overweight or obese. hyper tension, high les roll, type ii diabetes are affecting children and adolescents at unprecedented levels.
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not surprisingly, more than 90% of children meet none or only one of the five components the heart association uses to define a health where i diet, such as eating more fruits and vegetables or more whole grains. beyond the toll on the human suffering, obesity is associated with disease with a steep price tag. the cost of treating obesity related illnesses in the u.s. tripled just over a decade from $78 billion in 199 to $270 billion in 2009. almost half the students are considered -- nearly 90% qualify for free and reduced lunch. in many instances, that being the only healthy meal they receive all day. it was during my fellowship training in rochester that i learned a very important lesson i would like to share with you. i learned that i as a pediatrician must care for children and families beyond the four walls of my office. i could provide life-saving
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vaccines or medications, but what good would it do if these same children were -- disease by unhealthy diets. i've seen firsthand how children's eating and activity habits are established very early in life. it's a critical window when eating habits and healthy lifestyles are imprinted behaviorally and biologically. it provides great and i would argue unique opportunity for improving the health of our nation's children, lowering medical costs, and improving productivity. i would like to illustrate the delicate balance of the small change and consistent change in the life of a child and how if made correctly at the right times allow for prevention and treatment really to overlap. a colleague of mine and i had a 3-year-old patient who during his annual checkup was found to have a bmi in the obese range. actually 97th percent i'll. she discussed with the child's mother, the boy's beverage habits and drinking which the mom didn't think was a problem until he returned for his four-year checkup in which he was still obese now at the 98th
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percentile. they discussed cutting back on sugary beverages and his activity level. he came in for regular visits over the next two and a half years, and his weight continued to increase, but more slowly. over his last two visits, his weight actually decreased by just over a pound. this was over seven months. by now his bmi percentile was 69th percentile for age. right in the normal range. thez changes in behavior we discussed were not of a high intensity level like a treatment level that needed for older children or those more severely affected by obesity, but the consistent message is part of well child visits with age appropriate recommendations for nutrition, physical activity, screen time and sleep. this is also a motivated parent who sought out resources, clulg insuring her son attend a high quality child care center that improved policies around meals and snacks. the patient is on the right path for a healthy life. programs authorized by the healthy hunger-free kids act set the stage for children to get a head start for a lifetime of
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healthy habits. based on solid -- we urge the committee and congress to continue the good work school districts are -- with school districts to prioritize child nutrition programs. it's great up front investment in our children and our nation's future. we capital let perfect be the enemy of good. at the same time a client's evidence-based strategyers for altering the food environmental with minimum malcost. let me conclude by noting that the program -- the programs in child nutrition reauthorizes play a critical role in improving the health of our nation's future and our nation's future. it's one of the many strategies that while alone won't be enough must be implemented to turn the tide on obesity and the many other chronic obesity-related conditions among mesh's youth. the very lives of our children are at stake. thank you. >> thank you very much, doctor,
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for that testimony. >> thank you for having me. good morning, chairwoman stabenow, and members of the committee, and thank you for this opportunity to share my experience and views on the importance of child nutrition programs. like school breakfast and school lunch. when i think about this issue of perspective from a principal and parent of both a middle school and elementary age child, the benefits of universal or free reduced -- free and reduced meals programs is obvious. mad, i was a child of two working class parents who worked tirelessly to clothe, feed, and nurture five children. as a child i participated in the meal program at my school. i recall looking forward to going to school every day and wondering what was going to be served for breakfast and lunch. i can testify firsthand that the school meal program had a positive impact on my life and
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my learning. there are children in classrooms all over this nation many cities, in suburbs, and in communities, who are coming to school extremely eager to learn. in order for students to learn at high levels, they must be prepared and ready to concentrate by starting their day off with a nutritious breakfast. the numbers show that one out of five school age children struggle with hunger in this country. i can tell you that on a more personal note, i have 65% of my students who receive free and reduced breakfast and lunch daily, and they are still struggling with having enough to eat at home. i can also tell you that will this makes it harder for them to learn. i am not alone. there are teachers and principles all over this country who will tell you the same thing. there are children in classrooms all over the nation, cities and suburbs who are coming to school
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too hungry to learn. in some cases the nutritious school breakfast and lunch are the only meals the students have on a daily basis. children whop consistently do not get enough to eat tend to go to the nurse more often, have trouble focussing on lessons, which often result in off task behavior and difficulties with sharing their best thinking on their tests. research shows that students who do get enough nutrition on a daily basis feel better, learn more, develop good eating habits, and grow up stronger. we spend so much time and thought and money on indicating our children. we ask questions like how do we improve our test scores? how do we insure that students graduate? there are some wonderful programs and innovations.
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if they're too hungry to learn, we lost them before we've begun. for students of low income families, their nutrition comes from school meals. without school breakfasts and lunch, these students would not get the nutrition they need. you can really see it in the morning. i have seen students come to school, and they haven't eaten since lunch the day before. they're irritable. they cannot focus. they are only able to think about where their next meal is coming from. i am grateful that my school has a universal free breakfast program. this program enables all of my students to receive nutritious breakfast and start their day off right. another danger time is over the
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summer vacation. students do not get school meals when school is out of session. you can see a real difference at the start of the school we're between students who had enough to eat over the breaks and those who struggled. the ones who may not have been getting consistent meals are more stressed out, they take longer to get into the swing of the school year, they have forgotten a lot of what they have learned the year before, and it makes a real difference with their progress. as a principal, i make it my duty to greet my students every morning. this is an opportunity for me to quickly gauge my students' current social, emotional state. this particular morning i noticed a student who appeared tired and unhappy. before i could ask him what was wrong, he asked me are we going to be getting breakfast this morning? i don't have any money. i quickly reassured him that
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breakfast was waiting for him in his first period classroom. a sense of relief came over his face, and he quickly proceeded into the building. this and many other stories similar to this one confirms for me how important it is that schools have a nutritious breakfast and lunch program for students and how much they rely on them on a daily basis. i would like to share with you some current research conducted by the nonprofit organization no kid hungry and the consulting firm deloitte. they analyzed the ways hunger affects a child's ability to learn. their research focused primarily on what happens when students from low income families get the breakfast every day. here's some of their findings. their attendance rate went up. hard where iness and absences went down. on average students scored 17.5% higher on math assessments.
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higher taentdance and higher test scores are loefl tied to graduation rates. students who attend school regularly and receive better grades are 20% more likely to graduate from high school. this has a huge potential impact on their futures and ours. high school graduates are more likely to find better employment make higher salaries. once again, i'm the proud principal of francis scott key middle school. >> thank you so much. thank you to each of you for your important testimony. first, let me start, general holly, with you. i know that as you have said since 2012 the department of defense has really expanded its efforts to combat obesity, and i think as you indicate as well, people will be surprised that we start this whole process of reauthorization talking about
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what's happening in our military and department of defense, but it's in a very real concrete example of what's happening in terms of obesity in our country. i know you're investing the d.o.d. is investing a lot of time in funding to prevent obesity. could you talk a little bit more about those investments versus the amount of money being spent to treat obesity? >> well, as you know, i retired some years ago, so i can't claim to be an expert on everything going on in d.o.d. today. i do than they have instituted a number of trial programs. the healthy base initiative. which includes all of the services. increase warns of the problems for our soldiers, air hen and coast guardsmen. because, you know, as some of the testimony pointed out, sometimes people don't even seem what their diet is doing to
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them. they're doing things like color coding items in the comisary and dining hall, dining facilities. red, green, yellow, so that green says, hey, you can eat all that you want. it's good for you. it will help you be a better person in the military, a better soldier, sailor, airman. if it's yellow, well, maybe not so much. if it's red, hey, why don't you avoid that. that's full of sugar. that's not good for you. the air force i know has instituted a program recently on a trial basis that they hope to expand better food, better body. again, trying to increase awareness among our airmen to let them know that, hey, your nutrition is important. it's going to affect how you perform, and, of course, your perform wrans is going to affect how well you do in your career in our service. there's a lot going on, and i know it's going to expand because this is a very important
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item. the cost of those programs is insignificant compared to the cost of treating a problem. i think i cited the number of $1 parking lot 1 billion to treat obesity and overweight related illnesses in our military medical system and the tri-care program that supports people like me and others. so it's -- you cited 14 cents, i think. $14 billion. there's just no comparison. >> thank you. principal, could you talk a little bit about as a principal, how your school is working to insure that kids are receiving healthy breakfast and healthy lunches? what kinds of things are you doing? >> we were fortunate enough this year to receive a grant from the state that allowed us to have a free breakfast program for not only the 65% of our students who
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would receive a free and reduced meals breakfast, but for all students. it is -- we already had in place what we called a sustained silent reading in the morning, and once we received the breakfast program, we were able to bring the breakfast items into the first period classroom, so now we call it books and breakfast, and it works out really nicely. the students -- i have seen an increase in my attendance rate. i have seen -- i check it every week. we are certain to see if students are coming in on time or are there at school and ready to learn so we've seen some great increases. another partnership that i formed was a partnership with the university of maryland at my former school where they would come in and actually have lessons with the students on the importance of nutrition. i really think that it starts with the advocacy of the principal and tapping into the
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resources. i work very, very closely with our food services director and our program in my county. i'm consistently asking for -- we were selected for this summer one of 12 schools to receive a summer lunch program. not only will my students benefit, but students who live in that community up to age 18 are welcome to come to my school for free lunch. >> mr. thornton, could you talk from the parents' standpoint about working together to make the school programs a success. a little bit more about how you see parents and the involvement.
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pta we use seven standards foreign effective cool partnerships. welcoming all families into the school. communicating effectively these particular programs, and just to give you an example, you know, at home we understand that it's important with the family meal. sometimes they don't have the time to properly plan those things. we understand that. we educate them on nutrition within the schools. what does a healthy plate look like. what was the healthy grocery shopping trip look like? those are some of the things we've been doing to assist our parents.
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one of the strategy wez use. >> thank you very much. senator brown. >> i want to make three quick comments for you. first, i really appreciate general holly's comment and chairwoman stabenow's comment about the national school lunch program koreaed after world war ii in response to far too many recruits being malnourished. i think it's always important to put anything this government does in historical context. it teaches us for the future. thank you for that. i wanted to mention in ohio pro medic provider out of toledo and provides also in southeast michigan. they announce aid plan to reduce hunger and improve childhood nutrition. they view ending hunger not just as the moral issue that all of you view it as, i think, but also as one of the most important ways to lower health care costs. third, point i wanted to make
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before directing questions is the summer feeding program in my state, we have about 600,000 students every day that on any single day on the average and getting to school free or reduced practice lunch program, 600,000 during the school year. in the summer -- we're maybe slightly above the national average. only about 60,000 students on any single day are participating m summer feeding program. you think of the difference there. 600,000 in a particular day in march or april, and in july and august it's one-tenth of that and what that says about what we're doing. s we need to go. my questions are for the principal. first i would say if i had -- if i had teenage children, i would want them to go to francis scott key middle school, because i know the leadership that principals show in what a difference that makes in the whole system environment.
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>> i held a conference call to ohio reporters yesterday on the issue on summer feeding, and asking them to help -- i usually don't ask reporters or suggest what they write, but i ask them to help get the word out for these summer feeding programs. we only have about 700 sites. we get americorps and some other groups and individuals helping us build the sites. you know, you've got to build them in may or june and take them down in september, and have you to find people to do it. churches and schools and libraries and all. talk to me, if i would, talk to the committee, what does that mean in terms of the huge dropoff not just weekends. don't talk the weekends and during the school year, but in the summer, but that actually means to children, to their development, to their physical and mental development, to their preparation the next fall for school all that that means.
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>> you can tell by their physical appearance, by their level of energy when they come back just even it doesn't even take a summer. you can see over like a spring break if they come back very often it takes them a lot longer to get ready for their school day, for their school week. if school starts on a monday, they may be ready by wednesday. what i've noticed was just a drop in their socialization. i've noticed them misbehaving more where when they have a level of consistency, when they know thief eaten every day and
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it's a nutritious breakfast, lunch, their anxiety doesn't go up. right now is the second to last day of school in my school. also many other medical schools. as principals talk, we're noticing that the anxiety in our children are really increasing. i think pafr it is because they know that they're not going to be able to come in and get that free breakfast and free lunch. i'm fortunate to have a school that will have that this summer, but not all schools in my system have it. only 12. >> talk to me if you could. take another few minutes. understanding probably in the state of maryland the summer feeding program is roughly 10%, 12%, 15%. how does that compare? if you have an active middle school like yours with however many students that you said, it's a universal free breakfast,
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how many of them are there in the summer, and what can we learn from what you do there and your geographic location to reach into communities and do better everywhere? >> turned myself off. thank you. it starts with communicating. that's first. so i -- this summer will be my actual first summer with this school to see exactly how this program works. i do have over 900 students. it's us really reaching out to the parents. >> have you 900 during the school year or 900 in the -- >> yes -- >> how many are you fielding in the summer? >> it's open to everyone, and i'm not sure yet because this will be the first summer. >> last year do you know how many they had? >> we did not have the summer program, and that's where, you know -- so we're really excited to have it this year, and i will certainly -- i can get back to you and let you know the success of it. >> if i can interrupt you again. i'm sorry, madam chair. i know in most -- it seems most that i have watched and been part of -- been part of as an
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observer, the lunch -- the breakfast and lunches in the summer are pretty much preprepared in boxes and that. will you in the summer feeding program because you are using the middle school's cafeteria, i assume, will you prepare the same way these lunches and breakfasts the same way you do during the school year? >> yes, they will get warm lunches. breakfast is usually a cold breakfast. a cereal and bagel, a fruit. for the lunch package, it's going to be prepared the same way it would be prepared during the school year. they're actually going to have hired staff to come in to make sure the teachers are teemp and the staff who are working in our cafeteria -- >> reimbursement for this is enough to fund the same kind of feeding program that you do during the school year? >> i'm sorry? >> the same kind of preparation of food that you do during the school year? >> yes. the county is handling the funding. >> the county is doing beyond
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what the usda does? >> yes. >> sorry for the length of that. >> it's an important question we're going to get into in reauthorization and breakfast versus lunch. another great children's advocate, we're so luck where i in this committee, is to have senator brown and senator casey. welcome. thank you. >> madam chair, thank you. thank you for having this hearing. we have great testimony here. great witnesses. senator brown was asking a lot of the questions that are on the minds of each of us when it comes to kind of the swren point, the dropoff between children that get either a breakfast or a lunch or both during the school year, and then the summer huge dropoff. pennsylvania, we have more than 1.8 million children enrolled in the school lunch program. a fraction of that are getting help in the summer. that's one of our -- one of our big challenges. just at the outset, i just want to make a brief statement about kind of a philosophy of mine or a guiding principle for me.
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you might even call it a national strategy, which i don't think we have for children, but i think what we need. this question that we're examining in this hearing is i think it leaves one of the four pillars or one of the four parts of the strategy. if we're doing the right thing -- and we're not. we're long way from this. we should make sure every highland has health insurance. every child has a quality early learning opportunity. when i say child, i mean every single one. that every single child has the basic protections from predators, and then number four, and not in this order, is the issue we're talking about today. the children have access to enough food to eat, but making sure that it's nutritious food. if we did those four things for every child, we would be a much better country, and our national
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security would be enhanced. this is one of those four, and i know i don't have time for every question, but i wanted to ask -- i want to start with dr. cook. the wick program. talk to me about that in terms of the women, infants and children's program as a preventive step to cut back on the potential that that child will be obese down the road? if you can talk about that one particular program. >> sure. thank you very much for the question. the women, infant, and children program represents a great opportunity. in new york they pilot some of the first changes, and we were able to see in our community how the offerings to the mothers were changing. more whole grains, special variety of foods to the mothers who are breast feeding, as well as for the infants and children. more culturally diverse food, offerings as well, which we also know is very appropriate if a family comes from a certain cultural background, yet what
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they're offered isn't relative to the parents who are preparing and serving these meals. it's not really going to work. i think it also represents a great window as pediatricians where we look at another way to wrout reach to the families. if we can get wick workers in our office in our waiting rooms two days a month where they can be there and make available the information to families, we feel that's a huge advantage. ours and the other training practice that's affiliated with another hospital in our system we have about 13,000, 14,000 patients in each of them. 65% are not eligible. wn with those two practices we preached approximately a45%, 50% of the children in the city.
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we've been working with our food pantry agency that's organizing the summer meal programs, as well as some of the advocacy agencies that gets the information about where the summer meals are into the pediatric practices. we don't see every kid. when kids are coming in for summer camp physical or for an illness, we have that information available. we've done a great job with vaccines preventing illnesses in kids that we're now seeing this wave of new morbidity. physical intooit, mental health issues are a part of that wave, and so we really have to think outside the four walls of our office. i'll answer the question in my own way. if you just looked at one indicator of how we're doing in
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terms of national policy that holds a national strategy for health pregnant women, i don't think we would get very high letter grade. maybe a d. that's my opinion. i think we have a long way to go. i know we're almost out of time, but i wanted to ask our principal, principal stanislov. when you talked about irittability in the morning and sustained silent reading periods, that might help in the senate. we're iritable when we're not eating. just this whole question that is so central to the life of a child. i like to say if kids learn now, they'll earn more later. you can't learn if you are hungry or if you have other
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things happening to you. just this basic fundamental question about the trouble that children have concentrating because of lack of access to food or nutritious food. talk about that for a moment. i know you spoke to it. >> right. >> i think for me personally because i was one of those children and i have a personal connection to what that really feels like. if you don't have your breakfast because or you don't have dinner because there's nothing at home to eat, and you are truly waiting to come to school for that meal, i can get it because i can just kind of envision what that feels like because i've lived it. i understand even when my students are as middle schoolers we all know at times they say, oh, i'm nine. you know, or try to be too proud, i know what that really,
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really means. it may just mean taking them into another location and saying, oh, here's your breakfast. where he, it plays a very, very heavy role. that's why i think as a principal you really need to be in touch with the social-emotional side of where your children are and really get to know them and get to know their families. unfortunately, there is a really big stigma with being a student who receives free and reduced meals. for some reason they just know that, oh, i'm a student who receives free and reduced meals. having my breakfast program, it made such a difference because now everyone, any child, it doesn't matter of the -- can get their meal in the morning and it's no stigma attached. it's really pushing students
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past that in order to help them unlock their best anything because if you can't -- if you are hungry, you are not going to concentrate. you may get some of the information, but you are going to miss most of the information. once you take care of that fund mental need, you often find that students are able to elevate their progress. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. i -- sorry i was late. i was at a judiciary hearing where we had some votes. i knew i was at the right hearing when i saw senator gillebrand's orange peels right here. thank you so much to our witnesses. thank you to the chairman for holding this hearing. in 2010 we overwhelmingly approved major reforms to the
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child nutrition programs through the healthy hung er hunger free kids act. i opposed some of the efforts to roll it back. i think that we have i think you said it weighed more than the uss midway character. i worked closely with senator harkin to change the standards for vending machines and ara carte lines and the smart snacks in school provision takes affect as you know july 1st. in your view, what role do vending machines and ala carte lines play in disqualifications
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and recruitment. i'm not an expert in what's going on in today's schools because my kids grew up a long time ago, but i can relate a tale from one of my partners in this effort who relayed the fact that when he was a child growing up in north carolina, they had cigarette machines in the schools. this is a place where kids go to get bad habits reinforced. our experience in the military is that by the time we get them as recruits, it's almost too late to influence their habits because we all know that we develop eating habits early. i like the things that my mother fed me when i was a child. i'm 72 years old. nothing has changed. so these habits that our
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children form by accessing these vending machines with unhealthy foods, sugary drinks, twinkies, you name it, shape their habits going forward, and that affects our ability as military services to recruit adequately. it contributes to the fact that only 25% of enlistment eligible youth could join the military if they walked into a recruiters office today. so we need to get a handle on that. >> okay. ms. stanislov thank you for your work as a principal. my mom taught second grade until she was 70 years old. she had 30 second graders at age 70, so i really appreciate your work. as implementation of healthy hunger free kids act continues, a usda, as you know, has provided additional technical assistance, including $25 million in grant funding to help
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schools purchase kitchen equipment that will help them provide healthier meals. as an administrator who works closely with the cafeteria in your school do you think there will be more investment in kitchen equipment in order to provide healthier meals? >> i think that for my county the food services administrators, they often visit our school to monitor and insure that the lunches that we are serving are healthy. i have to say that my county has done a really great job with giving our school and all of the schools across the county kind of a guideline as to what is acceptable new traditional values. days of pizza parties are gone. we wanted to insure that the foods we are serving. i think about the vending machine. we do have a vending machine. it is on a timer. i thank you for insuring that we
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do have healthy snacks in the vending machine that are not only befitting what the expectation here is for this committee, but also the expectation for my county. students, yes, they are allowed to go to the vending machines, but after they have eaten their meals. getting back to the equipment in the kitchen, everything for our kitchen, we're really, i would say, pretty much doing okay. if there's ever anything that we need, the county is right there to support my staff. >> thank you. our state has been a leader to bringing the farm to school -- i'll ask you about that in writing. thank you very much for all your work, and -- >> thank you. >> we know that change isn't easy, but i think these standards are very important, and i don't think now is a time to roll them back. thank you. >> thank you very much.
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senator thune. >> thank you, madam chairwoman, and thank you all for being here and for providing great insights on this important subject. general, thank you for your service. welcome back. it's nice to see you again. i'm interested in the fact that 25% of our wrung people 17 to 24 are eligible, and you listed academic preparedness, obesity, and criminal records as the three. i'm guessing -- where does obesity fit into that, and how is that changed in the time that you were in the service relative to those other factors? >> well, on the first point, our best -- people are disqualified sometimes for multiple reasons. it's a little hard to pin down exactly what percentage is due to overweight or obesity, but it's about one in -- better than one in five of the disqualified applicants are atrit outable to overweight or obesity.
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the change is dramatic, of course, over the course of my service. i became a lieutenant in 1964. it was a very different country then. obesity was not nearly the problem that we have today. i can't give you the number, but i would guess it is below 10% were rejected from service because of their weight. >> well, and you said 1,200 a year are discharged because of that. is that -- when they're discharged, we assume that when they came in, they met the weight requirements and then what contributes to that while they're in the service? how do -- >> i think most of them were borderline when they came in, and, of course, we feed them very well. we exercise a lot, but we offer a lot of food. sometimes it's due to other actors. they've consumed so many sugary
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drinks rather than milk and too few vegetables so their bones are brittle, and we wind up with -- it's both a weight-related problem and a diet-related problem. they wind -- suffer fractures, serious sprains, whatever. there's a lot of issues to those. every time we have to discharge one for these problems, we spend about $75,000 to go recruit a replacement and train them to the tune of about $90 million a year. >> let me just direct this to anybody on the panel, but just what can be done to encourage parents to do a better job, take more responsibility for providing healthy nutritious meals for children? i think people have kind of harkenned back to their younger days. when i was growing up, i grew up in a small town. we didn't have a school lunch program. everybody either went home or brought a sack lunch to school.
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we fortunately live close enough to the school that we would go home, but my parents both worked, and somehow my mother managed to get up many the morning and, you know, get something for us for breakfast, and then put something in the oven for lunch and it's a very different world today, but, you know, what can we do to encourage better incentive parents to compliment the meals that are provided at the schools and insure that our kids are getting nutrition that they need? >> i can speak on that topic from a standpoint of i have yet to meet a parent that doesn't want to try to provide the basic necessities, as we've heard. feeding and sleeping are probably the most important things to a parent of a newborn. it's really important to craft that message and think about that message very early. we're even looking at and seeing research that it's at the time of conception and during pregnancies when mothers are
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planning what they're going to do for their child. where they sleep, how they feed, if they breast-feed. a number of things that go on that actually sustain those behaviors very early. it's really important to understand. when i say parents, ely,unforthis does become much a burden of mothers because of their role, so i think it's really important to understand that identifying these issues very early at the health of pregnancy can be one of the early wind wroez to try to identify where parents feel is normal and not normal, what is really healthy versus perceived healthy. we've hit on history a lot here, and i find that very important, and one of the best advocates i have found is when grandma is the in the room. that can be a great resource for the family. many of the families i see, unfortunately, not really the traditional nuke family. very disconnected. may not have the same type of social support and social structure that can give that type of beneficial anecdotal evidence, and i think it's important to understand the evidence is very difficult to
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figure out in kids because you can't do a research constituted where i in a child the same way you can in adult. there are protected population. it's using history, using families, and in this case providing those resources at really critical times, and in infancy and childhood getting families to adopt these behaviors is really an important time because it can imprint these behaviors throughout their lifetime. >> do you think we too much by -- is it a disincentive to parents when you increase the number of meals and parents start shifting that responsibility to schools and say, well, school is going to take care of that? >> i think it's a really important balance to try to strike because the parents are assuming and parents do have a respect for the school to protect their child. i think it represents that balance of they're assuming it's the right thing being done there. as we've had parents engage schools around the pta, aren't school wellness policies, they become very concerned and shocked when they're in there seeing what's available. i think it's a balance of the
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responsibility of the parent as well as the school, and that's why having parents involved in the process actually is really moving this forward very well. >> my time has expired. thank you, madam chairwoman. thank you all. >> senator gillebrand. >> thank you for holding this hearing. i'm very grateful. mr. thornton, with the start of summer upon us, i'm remind thad many of our low income students and children will lose access to school breakfast and lunches that they rely on during the school year and that both hunger and obesity go up during summer vacation. the summer nutrition program insures that low income children have access to healthy foods throughout the summer. most summer nutritious programs occur in tandem with education enrichment programs that keeps kids learning and engage and safe during the summer months. despite these benefits, summer meals only reach a fraction of eligible children and many children often do not have adequate access and go hungry during the summertime. can you talk a little bit about the need to insure access to healthy meals year-round so that children are returning for the
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school year healthy and ready to learn? >> senator, thank you for the question. to address the senator, at one of my things as i talk to our over four million parents around the country, it's, well, personal accountability. you know, education, things to begin at home. as dr. cook mentioned earlier, different people come from different stages in life. i'm cuff those kids that did not have during the summers the food and things like that. i mean, my family did the best they could, but, again well, have to keep that in mind as we look at the public school system and public good and the kids that may not have a privilege and opportunity that other kids have had.
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>> we're actually working with senator vilsack and others to find those resources to get additional food and things for those kids in the summer, recognizing as we heard the principal talk about today, the impact that it has on the academic perform wrans and coming back to school after having to deal with that. we should working with government agencies, advocates to try to get those programs in the communities. >> thank you. dr. cook, you know, we talk a lot about the intersection of childhood obesity and actual hunger that the quality of the nutrition that some of our most obese children are receiving is so low that they're actually obese but still starving. we address this a bit in the farm bill with food deserts
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trying to make sure that inner cities or remote areas have access to affordable fruits and vegetables. you would be surprised there's food deserts in the bronx and brooklyn, in the north country in a state that's as wealthy and rich as new york, it's -- it seems outrageous. can you talk a little bit about the intersection of hunger and obesity and what are the dynamics at play and what are your best ideas for the school nutrition program to combat both or any other programs that you think are worth mentioning? >> thank you very much for the question, senator. the interaction of hunger and obesity is really important and complex. as researchers actually really have shown, the body physicianlogically adapts to these different states. the story is that at the beginning of the month families have more food. near the end of the month there's less. we've seen evidence that shows that the eating patterns, the foods available, in the home are different at the beginning of the month versus the end of the month.
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the problem is that that has a affect on the body. biologically we're still cavemen where whsh we put on calories, the body's metabolism, we store that and it alters to defend that weight because we know we need to survive. even though it's not the stone age, our bodies physicallogically still respond that way which makes weight loss extremely difficult. you have a person, especially child who has gained about the tremendous amount of wait.
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we see people that are borderline vitamin d deficient because while they get excess calories, they aren't getting nutrients. we know in childhood, especially in infancy and toddlerhood when growing, just like it's more susceptible to a small level of a toxin like lead. a small amount of lead has a big impact on the brain. very concerning that the nutrition science is coming along that is suggesting some of the sim findings. are we imprinting eating behaviors or because of nutritional deficiencies affecting the developmental growth, the brain growth in children. >> and can you talk about ways to increase participation in school nutrition programs such as offering breakfast or lunch for free for all students allowing student eligible for reduced price school meals to participate for free or implementing a breakfast program? >> i still struggle every year
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with having my parents complete a form that will make them eligible for their students to receive free and reduced meals. as stated earlier, i currently have slightly over 65% of my students who are eligible for that, but i can assure you that i have more children in my building whose parents may not have felt comfortable filling out that form because it in a sense stigmatizes them. once we received the free breakfast program for all students, it took that stigma away. so, wow, wouldn't it be amazing to have a free breakfast program and a free lunch program so that it would take away those -- the stigmatism that goes with having to fill out that form and turn it in and, oh, my gosh, what are they going to think about me?
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so i struggle with that every year. sometimes it's me calling a parent into my office and kind of having a heart to heart and letting them know it's okay, i will take the form, i will personally turn it in. it makes that difference, but that's the difference and the time that i'm willing to take and many of my colleagues to ensure that children get what they need. so in saying that, i think if it doesn't change, just exciting students about learning about nutrition. like dr. cook was saying, using food as fuel as opposed to, you know, i just want to eat it because it really tastes good. trying different things will excite them and in turn i have found as a principal often it excites the parents. but going back to if it were free for all, i can imagine that everyone would partake in the
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program. thank you. >> thank you very much. senator bozeman. we're so glad to see you. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you very much. miss stanislaus, i really don't have a question for you, but i do want to thank you as a principal. i know how hard you all work. i was on the school board for seven years, and i tell my colleagues it doesn't matter what issue we're discussing here, there's many school board issue that is are much more tougher, and so we do appreciate that you represent and the people that work with you and for you and things to get this done. dr. cook, in your testimony you tell the story about a small change in beverage consumption that made a huge difference for a young person and got them back into the normal bmi range. is there any other low hanging fruit out there that we can do of the same manner? >> so the area that we look at in terms of low hanging fruit -- >> maybe it is fruit. >> and low hanging vegetables i
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would add. so i think both of those are part of the key points. and it's really important to find where the evidence is and then what is feasible. i can give patients all kinds of advice but if it's not going to fit in their lifestyle, in their day, in their routine, it's not going to work. relative in terms of the low hanging fruit, early and often, giving the message seven times is kind of a joke but really useful strategy. if we have some of these same messages that we're using in our offices are being used in schools and daycare centers around screen time, physical activity, active play where they're running around, not necessarily has to be structured sports, fruits and vegetables are really important and really tough. probably the toughest of all the behaviors because of access, taste, presentation, so many steps that can go into it, but liquid calories are very occult. could you drink this package full of water and the sugary beverage and the amount of
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fullness will be the same. yet you could have 600 calories or zero. the amount of time a parent or a child -- the amount of time a child needs to be active to burn 600 calories would probably drive a parent nuts because of the amount of activity. so a big misperception is that children are very active and it burns a lot of calories. so as liquid calories being really an important first step, screen time and -- >> so you run into -- i don't mean to interrupt but you run into the same problem besides the coke-type beverages or whatever, but you run into the same problem then with some of the juice high calorie sugar -- >> absolutely. >> or carbohydrates. >> yeah. virtually almost all the liquid calories we drink will fall into that range and it has a very similar pattern. so the low hanging fruit a lot of times can be liquid calories. again, screen time very important. and when we can bring in more evidence to reinforce it to parents, the screen time is bad because it's mindless time. they're not active.
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it's actually more time for consumption. so if you sit in front of a screen for five or six hours, you may not burn 100 calories but you may eat 250 calories, and it's that occult eating that you don't catch. same thing with kids and it becomes a repetitive type of behavior. it also doesn't allow kids to relax and fall asleep easier and that, again, is a very important concern for our parents. so having the stealth type of intervention or having the collateral type of advantage of these small steps can be really bisht. and if we can give these and age appropriate simple steps in our office and in other settings that reach families and children like school, early child care programs, afterschool programs, then we're hitting them with multiple messages -- the same message multiple times. >> in your testimony you equated that to a normal bmi range. the bmi, it's got some problems with it in the sense that, you know, there are body types and things. you know, i hear from parents
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occasionally that, you know, you have a kid that is just a good, healthy, normal looking kid and yet the bmi says they're obese. our body types are different. are we working -- is there another test that's coming out that perhaps will do a better job of that, of really getting -- doing a little bit better job of identifying people that truly are in need of, you know -- >> i think that's a very important point because bmi is a useful tool on a population level, and if measuring 1,000 people, the top third fall in this range for health. on the individual level, it can be more limiting because it measures weight either as fat or as muscle. and i always caution pediatricians to think about it. when we try to use the data, you know, the higher the cutoff, the worse concern i have, but in a young child, i will also ask a pediatrician if they're asking for advice, what is the parents' weight? because having two obese parents as a 3-year-old is actually much
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bigger risk factor for that child to be an obese adult than their actual weight at the time. additional measures come out of the research we're trying to develop and the importance of continuing this research and looking in children. children are a group that aren't studied as closely. we're putting more attention to it and we need to understand what is a normal physiologic growth. the sad point is we don't have as many children going through normal physiologic growth in our modern era than we would have even 30 years ago. i would also add the point that when parents will say, well, they're big boned or they're pretty large. most toddlers, 3, 4, 5-year-olds, don't have that much muscle mass. even when their bmi is high, it's more likely going to have more components of body fat. when it's teenagers, it's a different story and it can be very difficult. but i agree, it really does need to look at a mix of when we can identify bmi as the first step and what i like to say is not every tumor is cancer. not every highb mi is obesity.
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>> i think you make a good point even among the pediatric community that's so well educated in this. my concern is that, you know, at the school level, you know, where you have an administrator or whoever is doing these programs, and in many of our smaller schools there are people like that, that they simply look at a number, chart that in and it's automatically that way without using the common sense along with it. >> i agree, and i think, you know, schools have a lot of things on their plate, and doing fitness testing we know is beneficial and increased cardiovascular fitness is beneficial for all kids. as we have seen in rochester when asking parents and doing surveys, they warrant to hear about this and talk about this with their primary care provider. even if we can offload some of the burdens from schools of doing it because that's where we're hearing the few but loud stories of this isn't really an accurate measure of my child. well, that may or may not be
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true but maybe if we put it in a different context when health can be presented, it can take some of the burden off of schools and can put it in a setting where parents may be more comfortable to discuss it. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you very much. really important questions and discussions. we're going to be wrapping up but i'd like to ask each of you a closing question, the same question that would be very helpful to us because we've been talking about child nutrition and the impact both within the school but also more broadly for our country. if you could give the committee a piece of advice as we consider reauthorizing child nutrition programs, what would you say is the most important thing we could do in address some of the concerns and the ideas that you've raised today? i'll start with general hawley. >> well, i learned during my career that probably the most valuable trait you can have is persistence. as they say, persistence

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